It's already been one week since I have arrived in Australia. My first week was filled with experiences and discoveries. The last two days, I went to school and surfing. Once, I was watching the stars with a big telescope (8 inch diameter mirror and GPS!) and was able to see Saturn! Today is Saturday and we had a long walk in beautiful Lennox Head.
Actually, I had planned (already two weeks ago) to go on an excursion with "Step in paradise tours", which, unfortunately, did not take place. Nevertheless, I was on another wonderful excursion with Mayu. Our host father took us to Lennox Head, which is near Ballina (20 minutes south of Byron Bay by car). He dropped us off at the Lake Ainsworth, a tea tree lake. The first thing, we recognized was the lake's brown water. Its water is coloured by tanks from the Swamp paperbarks (Melaleuca quinquenervia = tea trees) surrounding the lake. Thousands of years ago, the lake played an important role to the Bundjalung people (Aborigines of this area). They knew how to benefit from the lake: the tannins from the tea trees are very good for skin and hair (it's poisonous to drink it). Women often brought their babies into this healthy source and took a bath with them. Even nowadays, people buy for a lot of money tea tree oil, because of its health benefits.
From the Lake Ainsworth, we headed down to the Seven Mile Beach (7 miles > 11 km, but in fact, it is just 5.3 miles (8.5 km) long) where we had a wonderful walk on the smooth sand. It's a beach that is also good for experienced surfers. While we were walking, we met some seagulls and pelicans (I didn't know that they are that big!). Two men were feeding them with fish, which was really funny to watch: the seagulls fought for every fish and were running behind each other to get it. In the end, it was always the pelican who won.
At the end of the beach, we went on a path to "climb" that little hill of Lennox. We first had an amazing view over the Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Beach, and we could also see the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Ascending even further, we reached the Pat Morton Lookout. From here, we also had a great view to the other side (Boulder Beach and Iron Peg). This was a m a z i n g . We descent a little bit on the southern side so that we were able to see the cliffs of the Pat Morton Lookout, which was even more fascinating and relieving.
After a short stay, we went back and Byron picked us up. We had a short drive through Bangalow (there's a good market on the 4th Sunday of each month!) and continued our trip home through some remaining rain forests (where sometimes koalas and wallabies can be sighted). We saw also some macadamia forests. Most macadamia nuts are from this region there! It was a wonderful and interesting trip! We went home and had lunch. Later, we made a detour to the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. There are many shops, cafés and a big construction site where many resorts for tourists will be built...
If you haven't done yet, check out more pictures of today's trip to Lennox (click here)... It's now almost 10pm and I have to go to bed, because tomorrow will be an exhausting but wonderful day in the hinterland! I'm looking forward. Have a good night and carpe diem!